Northern Ireland, more than Game of Thrones

#northern_ireland #dunluce_castle #castle

Belfast and Northern Ireland is one of the most overlooked countries in Europe.

While is southern brother Ireland gets loads of tourist is Northern Ireland still pretty untouristy except for the hardcore Game of Thrones fans that visits the country every year.

With a hope to see one of their favorite actors or doing a tour to see some of the location that Game of Thrones has been filmed.
I didn’t do either since I have never seen the show, but 99% of the tourist I did meet during my trip Northern Ireland was there because of Game of Thrones.

#Belfast #northern_ireland
Belfast river side

Belfast has gotten a huge facelift in recent years, it’s been cleaned up, with parks and art areas, with tons of hipster cafes and bars around the University area.
Belfast doesn’t offer too many sights around the city except the Titanic museum, Belfast City hall, and some cathedrals.
All things I don´t really care too much about, so I decided to rent a car and see the country sight instead.

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Belfast City hall, build in 1906

The route following the coast in Northern Ireland is considered to be one of the most scenic in Europe, you will pass old castle ruins, natural sights like the Giant Causeway.
The first stop on the drive along the cost is Carrickfergus Castle, the castle was built back in 1177, it has been fully rebuilding and restored since then and now serves as an open-air museum.

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Carrickfergus Castle build in 1177

The next obviously stop on the coastal route is Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, tho say it fast and honestly it’s not worth the stop, it cost 5£ for crossing the 20m long Rope Bridge, a huge waste of money.

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The famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Like I have already mention is Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, a big waste of money, so its no reason to stop there, BUT if your a fan of Game of Thrones so is one of the locations that´s used in tv serie just 10min away from the bridge, don’t ask me which scene that was filmed here, but two of the Game of Thrones tour buses was parked up at the same parking lot as you use to see the “famous” rope bridge.

While the bridge is disappointing so are the drive along the coast really spectacular, with small local towns where is great to stop for some food.

#Northern_Ireland #Beach #Roadtrip
One the beaches your passing by while driving a long the cost in Northern Ireland

Since Northern Ireland is such a small country is it never far between sights to see, so less than 20minutes after you have visited the famous rope bridge will you arrive in Bushmills home to the world famous whiskey Distillery, The Bushmills Distillery.

The Bushmills Distillery claims to be the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world and dates all the way back to 1608.

It´s possible to do booth a distillery tour and whiskey tasting, I would have liked to do the booth, but the place was crowded with tour groups so I decided the best choice was to move on to the Dunluce Castle ruins and The Giant Causeway probably the most famous tourist attraction in all of Northern Ireland?
Booth less then 20miniutes away from the town of Bushmills.

First stop Dunluce Castle ruins.

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Dunluce Castle ruins on the north east cost

The Dunluce Castle ruins It´s documented back to 1513, and are well worth a short stop, not a place to spend a full day but a good place to spend an hour, but it gets crowded as well, all tour groups that travels up down the cost do stop here.

So then it’s only one big sight left on the coast of Northern Ireland, but it´s the most famous of them all UNESCO world heritage sight, The Giant Causeway.

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The Giant Causeway
#Northern_Ireland #UNESCO #Giant_Causeway
The Giant Causeway

The Causeway was created over 60 million years ago following a volcanic eruption. The formation of the Giant’s Causeway was due to intense volcanic activity.

But to be honest, so it´s 10miniutes enough at Giant Causeway, it´s no more than a bunch of rocks.

Additional info about Northern Ireland

How to get there

While Belfast has two international airports but the airports mostly cover destinations in Great Britain and the most common charter tourist destinations.
So the best way is to fly into Dublin International airport down in Ireland and take an airport shuttle from Dublin Airport to Belfast city center.
The bus ride takes about 3 hours and costs 22 £ for a return ticket.

Money/Price

English Pound £ is the currency in Northern Ireland

Belfast and Northern Ireland is reasonably priced country, more expensive than eastern Europe but still a bit cheaper then Ireland and England.
You should be able to have a daily budget at 25-40 pounds a day.

1,5L Bottle of water  – 0.82 £.
0.33L Coke/Pepsi – 1.10 £.
Meal in a local restaurant – 7-11 £.
Meal in a good restaurant – 15+ £.
Big Mac meal at Mcdonalds – 6 £.
Coffee in a coffee chain – 3 £.
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) – 8.5 £.
Beer local 0.5L can – 1.06 £.
Beer imported 0.33L (Heineken) –1.3 £.
Gasoline (1 liter) – 1.4 £.

Where to Sleep

Lagan Backpackers
Small hostel located close to the University and all the hipster cafes.
Dorms from 9.99£ with freshly cooked breakfast in the morning, friendly and helpful staff that can arrange all kinds of tours.

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5 Comments
  1. 10 minutes at Giants Causeway. No chance. You must have missed Finn McCool’s boot around the corner. And the huge wall of granite pillars. Then you can walk above the causeway on giant cliffs with some of the most amazing views in the world.

    1. I agree with Charles: 10 minutes at the Causeway? Man, you missed out the main things: the cliff walk from the top, the path behind the Causeway… You just walked the path to the stones and stayed there, right? A bit weird for someone who claims “to go where the guide books don’t go”!

  2. Aw, this was a very good post. Spending some
    time and actual effort to generate a top notch article?
    but what can I say? I procrastinate a lot and never manage
    to get nearly anything done.

  3. Yes I agree that Northern Ireland is indeed a very beautiful place. It very well displays history as well as scenery. It is no doubt one of the best places to visit and one of the top places to visit in my bucket list. I hope to visit soon and thanks for all the tips on the travel budget.

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